BAE Systems

Astute Class Submarines

Astute at sea

Astute at sea

Dauntless and Astute at sea


The Astute class will equip the UK Royal Navy with its largest and most powerful fleet of attack submarines. As exciting, complex and challenging as any engineering project in the world today, we’re harnessing the unique skills of our workforce and drawing on years of experience to deliver a step change in capability.


The class

When construction is complete, the class will comprise seven Astute submarines – each one packed with cutting-edge, state-of-the-art technology. They are:

• HMS Astute
• Ambush
• Artful
• Audacious
• Anson
• Boats 6 & 7 (yet to be officially named)

Key facts

• Each Astute submarine is 97m long - greater than the length of 10 London buses.

• When fully stored they will displace 7,400 tonnes of sea water, equivalent to 65 blue whales.

• Advanced nuclear technology means they never need to be refuelled. The submarines will be fuelled by a nuclear reactor powerful enough to power a city the size of Southampton.

• They can circumnavigate the world without surfacing and the dived endurance is only limited by the amount of food that can be carried and the endurance of the crew.

• Each submarine manufactures its own oxygen and fresh water from the ocean.

• The Astute class is the first Royal Navy submarine not to be fitted with optical periscopes – instead the vessel employs high specification video technology. The images are delivered into the submarine via fibre-optic cables.

• Armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, they are able to strike at targets up to 1,000km from the coast with pinpoint accuracy – equivalent to driving from London to Paris and back twice.

• Around 110 km of cabling and pipe work will be installed on each submarine – equivalent to driving from Bristol to Oxford.

• The Sonar 2076 sonar suite has the processing power of 2,000 laptop computers. They have the world’s largest number of hydrophones, providing the Royal Navy with the “biggest ears” of any sonar system in service today.


media enquiries

Natasha Carr

Natasha Carr

Digital and PR Associate


Maritime Services


  • Summer interns at Portsmouth Naval Base
  • Setting sail to engineer a British win
  • BAE Systems reservists celebrate Armed Forces Day at Portsmouth Naval Base
  • Ken Hobbs at Portsmouth Naval Base
  • Owen Elford and James Durkan
  • QEC alongside Portsmouth
  • QEC Portsmouth
  • Maritime apprentices
  • HMS Ocean
  • Type 26
  • Al Rasikh
  • Ben Gordon collects his award
  • Mobile Navigation App for the Royal Navy
  • How the Devonshire Dock Hall could look
  • How the Barrow site central yard could look in the future
  • How the Barrow site central yard could look in the future 2
  • Combat Systems
  • Dave Moy and UK Sport
  • Work Experience Girls Only
  • Maritime Apprentice Brandon Bowman
  • Fundraising for Future
  • HMS Lancaster
  • Riverlass vessels HMS Severn, Tyne and Mersey
  • Artisan
  • The forward end construction of the fifth Astute class submarine, Anson, lining up alongside her sisters, Artful and Audacious
  • Apprentices Josh Procter and Mike Cormish
  • Cyber Security Star George Hafiz
  • Al Shamikh arrive in Oman
  • Bottle smashes to celebrate naming of Artful
  • Artful
  • Artful's Crew
  • Local school children cheer for Artful
  • Admiral Sir George Zambellas and Lady Zambellas
  • Local school children cheer for Artful
  • Lady Zambellas and John Hudson enter DDH
  • Lady Zambellas and John Hudson enter DDH
  • Proud employees watching ceremony
  • Artful naming ceremony
  • Artful Naming Ceremony
  • Ulverston Victoria High School band entertain the crowds
  • Bottle smashes to celebrate naming of Artful
  • Global Combat Ship
  • contract win for BAE Systems for River Class
  • contract win for BAE Systems for River Class